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Family Chrysopidae - Green Lacewings

Ceraeochrysa lineaticornis Leucochrysa insularis ?? - Leucochrysa insularis Unknown crawling insect Chrysoperla externa Lacewing adult - Abachrysa eureka Lacewing - Chrysopa nigricornis Hexapod under silk-wrapped detritus - Ceraeochrysa lineaticornis green lacewing sp. - Chrysopa oculata
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Lacewings, and Allies)
Suborder Hemerobiiformia (Lacewings and Allies)
Family Chrysopidae (Green Lacewings)
Other Common Names
Golden-eyed Lacewings(1) (also noted in Merriam-Webster), golden-eyes
Aphid lions (larvae)(1)
Explanation of Names
Chrysopidae Schneider 1851
from the Latin chrys-, after the ancient Greek χρυσός‎, ('gold') + ōps ('face') + -idae (taxonomic family suffix), seemingly referring to the typically golden eyes found in green lacewings
named after the type genus, Chrysopa Leach 1815, which is used as the root of many green lacewing genera
~82 spp. in 16 genera* in our area;(2)(3)(4)(5) ca. 1,200 spp. in 75 genera and 3 subfamilies worldwide(6)
* Genus not yet in the guide: Plesiochrysa Adams, 1982 (1 sp., FL)
Key to most NA genera in (7)
Wings appear hairless to the naked eye, but bear short hairs along the edges and veins

Most species are green, but some are brown, especially overwintering adults of certain species of the Chrysoperla carnea group and Chrysoperla rufilabris:

Pinned specimens turn yellowish.
Larvae are 'alligator-like', with large jaws. Larvae of some spp. cover themselves with bits of litter/debris.
Common in grass and weeds and on tree/shrub foliage
Some adults are predators, others take liquids such as honeydew, and some feed on pollen
Lacewings are attracted to the aromatic amino acids such as tryptophan that are present in aphid honeydew.(8)
Larvae prey on insects, especially aphids (sometimes called 'aphid lions'); will also consume larger insects, insect eggs, and pupae.
Life Cycle

Eggs are characteristically stalked. The eggs and egg-laying shown here:

The larvae pupate in silken cocoons usually attached to the underside of leaves or stems.

Click on either image to see the life cycle of Chrysopa oculata
Genera such as Chrysopa often give off an unpleasant odor when handled.
Some species used as biological controls.
Video of larvae feeding on aphids.
Adults are crepuscular or nocturnal.

Several parasitoids of members of this family include:
Brachycyrtus ornatus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)
Dichrogaster chrysopae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)
Perilampus chrysopae (Hymenoptera: Perilampidae)
Hyperimerus corvus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)
Telenomus chrysopae (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae)
Print References
Duelli P., Johnson J.B., Waldburger M., Henry C.S. (2014) A new look at adaptive body coloration and color change in “Common Green Lacewings” of the genus Chrysoperla (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 107(2): 382-388 (Full text)(9)
Tauber C., Tauber M.J., Albuquerque G.S. (2014) Debris-carrying in larval Chrysopidae: Unraveling its evolutionary history. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 107(2): 295-314 (Full text)(10)
Works Cited
1.Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Eric Eaton, Kenn Kaufman. 2006. Houghton Mifflin.
2.Species catalog of the Neuroptera, Megaloptera, and Raphidioptera of America North of Mexico
Penny N.D., Adams P.A., Stange L.A. 1997. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 50: 39‒114.
3.A Systematic Review of the Genus Leucochrysa (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) in the United States
Tauber CA. 2004. Annals of the Entomological Society of America: 97 (6): 1129-1158.
4.A new species of Chrysopa from western North America with a key to North American species (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae)
Penny ND, Tauber C., Leon, 2000. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 93, 776–784.
5.Song Analysis Reveals a Permanent Population of the Mediterranean Lacewing Chrysoperla agilis (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) Living i
Charles S. Henry, Stephen J. Brooks, James B. Johnson, Marta M. Wells, & Peter Duelli. 2011. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Vol. 104, no. 4, pp. 649-657.
6.Chrysopidae of Canada and Alaska (Ins., Neuroptera): revised checklist, new and noteworthy records,and geo-referenced localities
Garland J.A., Kevan D.K. Mce. 2007. Zootaxa 1486: 1–84.
7.The green lacewings of Florida (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). 1. Genera
Stange L.A. 2000. Fla. Dept. Agric. & Consumer Serv., Division of Plant Industry, Entomology Circular No. 400.
8.Introduction to Insect Biology and Diversity
Howell V. Daly, John T. Doyen, Alexander H. Purcell III. 1998. Oxford University Press.
9.A new look at adaptive body coloration and color change in “Common Green Lacewings” of the genus Chrysoperla
Peter Duelli, James B. Johnson, Mario Waldburger, & Charles S. Henry. 2014. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 107(2): 382-388.
10.Debris-Carrying in Larval Chrysopidae: Unraveling Its Evolutionary History
Catherine A. Tauber, Maurice J. Tauber, & Gilberto S. Albuquerque. 2014. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 107(2):295-314.